Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chuparosa Challenge-Mixing Drinks


Taking a break from the "Looking Back" series, I thought I'd present to you yet another difficult piece from hummingbird observations.  Todays post is about how some hummers can um......"mix" at a party.  I don't think they throw keys in the bowls like I've seen people do in the movies, but they do um...."cross lines".  Which can make the birder raise an eyebrow and wonder what it is they really are looking at!  This has happened several times to me over the past photo shoots.
And it is quite frustrating because it's already difficult at times distinguishing females and juveniles in the mix.  When there are hundreds of them flying around, it's difficult to make um....heads or tails with these birds:)
Mary Jo, from Ash Canyon, had some fun though. In an email to birders, she wrote this brief message, "The COSTA'S/LUCIFER Hybrid ("Costifer") was back. We believe it to be the same one from 3 years ago. There was a new hybrid to add to the list: a probable BLACK-CHINNED/COSTA'S  Hybrid, spotted by Sheri Williamson(hummingbird guru here). His gorget was purple all the way up, and slightly flared out at the sides."  So the Costa's are the party birds:)  I told Mary Jo that she should copyright her hybrid names...."Costifer" and "Costachin". 
Many of these birds you see today are juveniles.  I like the shots enough that I couldn't let them go to waste. 
It isn't uncommon for this to happen as it occurs with many other animals/birds around the world.  If you have cats, just look at the diversity we have with this population.  Did you know a Bobcat and house cat can make a "Pixie Bob"?  It's true.  I had one years ago.  He was a big boy and smart as a whip and loved to play fetch.
So if you see a hummingbird and raise an eyebrow wondering what you're looking at, it's okay.  I've done it often.  We're getting close to the end of the Chuparosa Challenge for the year.
I have some surprises coming up from this hummingbird challenge and there's only two more left to go. We'll have to wait until next year again for the rest unless I disappear to Mexico over the next several months.  More tomorrow...


Saturday, September 29, 2012